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ARTH 389 Issues in Ethnocultural Art Histories: Ethnic Futurism and Contemporary Art

  • Tuesdays, 11:45am - 2:15pm
  • EV 1.605
  • Instructor: Dr. Alice Ming Wai Jim

Speculative fiction, art, and popular culture as imaginative worldmaking are not only influential examples of symbolic work at play but also powerful future-making practices: they help us imagine the future we want so we can better understand what present actions to take in order to get there. Historically, Euro-American mainstream narratives of the future have been dominated by white authors and white characters, with non-white characters, if there were any, mostly represented as offensive racial stereotypes or subterfuged as alien bodies.

Initially positioned in literature, music, film, and speculative fiction (fantasy and science fiction), present-day articulations of ethnic futurity extend to global social media platforms (memes, blogs, virtual communities), moving images, performance, gaming, illustration and design, photography, graphic novels, and other ecologies of knowledge, theory, and practice. This course explores ethnic futurisms in contemporary art, particularly those that engage speculative futurities: imagined future worlds created for and by Indigenous, Black, Asian, and other people of colour and mixed-race heritages, where they not only survive but thrive.

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